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An Electronic Eye On Your Kids

You can't be around your children all of the time, but a new Internet technology is making it easier for some parents to watch their children from afar, reports CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes.

At the Cathy's Kids daycare center in Tustin, California, working parents like Marcia Zigrang monitor their children on-line using relatively inexpensive webcam technology.

"When I first hooked in to the Internet and I saw her I actually got tears just being able to see my daughter during the day when I am at work," says Zigrang.

"It was like I was just part of her life at that moment and even though I am at work and I can't be with her, I can at least know what she is doing."

A webcam works by hooking up a special kind of video camera to a computer. The camera then sends the images that it takes over the Internet so that the images are accesible from any computer that is wired to the Web. The images aren't exactly broadcast quality -- they have a low resolution and frame rate -- but that is part of what keeps the costs low.

Cathy Sipia, who runs the daycare center, says that some parents have even purchased new computers so that they can watch their kids at the daycare center.

"It gives them peace of mind," says Cathy. "Many times in the morning, children are crying...if the parent is concerned they can call in and look in the classroom and see that their child is fine and they are at peace for the rest of the day."

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